Mike Jacobs throws down the gauntlet, takes up where John Lunsford failed

December 15, 2009 18:08 pm

by Pete Randall · 72 comments

Hours after the stunning reversal of State Representative John Lunsford concerning his efforts to bring about elections for all leadership seats within the Republican caucus, State Representative Mike Jacobs (pictured) has taken up the cause for genuine reform. In an e-mail received this evening, Jacobs has announced that he will have a petition ready for signatures from his fellow caucus members to force elections for any leadership position the caucus feels is necessary. As Jacobs makes clear in his e-mail:

Make it known that any member who wants to sign a renewed petition should see me at Thursday’s caucus meeting.

Additionally, I’m hearing from various sources that Lunsford’s afternoon of cowardliness has cost him any chance in the election for Whip and that State Representative Ed Lindsey is now the odds-on favorite.

NorthGeorgiaGirl December 15, 2009 at 6:14 pm

To quote Dorothy from “The Wizard of Oz”: “My, people come and go so quickly here!”

AthensRepublican December 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Some on PP were promoting John Lunsford for Speaker several days ago. If all this is accurate, I hope he suffers an embarassing loss for the Whip position.

Good luck to Mike Jacobs!

Part-Time Atlanta December 16, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Mike is the man. Lunsford is a coward.

B Balz December 15, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Way to get a scoop, Pete!

I hope Rep. Jacobs gets a ton of signatures. Good Luck Mike!

John Konop December 15, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Ed Lindsey will do a great job!

sonofliberty December 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm


B Balz December 16, 2009 at 8:59 am

Do or Die!

Ken in Eastman December 15, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I don’t know Mike Jacobs, but I sure do like him!

Way to go, Mike! Just don’t cave in.

B Balz December 15, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Shrewd young man. Bought in early on to the North DeKalb incorporation debate, winning House and Senate friends in doing so. Changed parties, but it didn’t bother me since he went GOP.

Mike is smart and tough, this is a really good move on his part. I don’t think he will cave.

Dream Team:

Speaker Ralston
Speaker Pro Tem Millar
Whip Ed Lindsey

Now I’d like to know if anyone actually knew if these guys even like/respect each other enough to lead our State through the weeds of the 2010 budget.

benevolus December 15, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Mike Jacobs, whose party affiliation depends on who is in the majority? That Mike Jacobs?

Harry December 15, 2009 at 7:29 pm

Give me a break.

acoalson December 15, 2009 at 8:22 pm

Lunsford is a coward and a fool. He had more support than he realized. Now the respect he had garnered because of his stance has been lost. I hope that whatever Keen promised him is worth it.

Mark Rountree December 15, 2009 at 8:44 pm

Benevolus, I believe you mean the Mike Jacobs who won by a landslide in his district last year after becoming a Republican, right?

The same Mike Jacobs who Chris Huttman claimed would lose — because of the (non-existent) Democrat trend of his district?

benevolus December 15, 2009 at 8:53 pm

Wasn’t his opponent determined to be ineligible?

Progressive Dem December 15, 2009 at 8:57 pm

Anybody that changes parties doesn’t know their own principles. An elected official that changes parties is a hypocrite.

macho December 15, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Perhaps they do know their own principles and don’t just think it’s like picking a sports team.

fastball December 15, 2009 at 9:59 pm

Progressive Dem – Are we talking about Kathy Ashe? Or Randy Sauder? Maybe you mean Arlen Specter? But that’s different you say… they’re statemen. I mean statespeople.

Progressive Dem December 15, 2009 at 11:23 pm

I didn’t say it was different.

B Balz December 16, 2009 at 9:02 am

BTW, I agree with Progressive Dem.

If I had voted for my rep and they changed up on me, I’d be disgusted. I don’t condone what Rep. Jacobs did, I just don’t mind his choice.

Elin is Hot December 16, 2009 at 11:18 pm

Perhaps parties change.

Mark Rountree December 15, 2009 at 9:52 pm

No benevolus.

While one of them was found ineligible, Jacobs defeated Michelle Conlon 67-33% last November.

*That* Mike Jacobs.

macho December 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Don’t forget, that was during the Obama election, which was the best election conditions for the Dems in recent history.

benevolus December 16, 2009 at 8:53 am

Michelle had to run as an independent. She was a last-minute replacement for that idiot who doesn’t know where he lives. Nice of her to step up to the plate, but all the money and energy had already been spent.

benevolus December 16, 2009 at 9:01 am

I might add that under the circumstances, it should be embarrassing that Jacobs didn’t get 90%. Even with an unknown independent candidate with an almost non-existent campaign that started late, running against an incumbent, 33% STILL rejected Jacobs.

Party-switching itself is only a little part of it. He ran as a Dem, and then right after the election he switched when he saw which way the wind was blowing. It had nothing do with his beliefs. Either that or he is a flat-out liar for campaigning on one platform all that time and pitching it all overnight. The generous view would be that he is just a mercenary.

B Balz December 16, 2009 at 9:14 am


At the time of the switcher-roo, Rep. Jaocbs became an ‘early adopter’ of the City/Township movement for Brookhaven. This is all part of the overall Milton County/City crowd and a flat out rejection of big county government.

Sen. Weber, Fran Millar, Dick Williams, Wendell Willard, Jan Jones, Mark Burkhalter, and Mike Jacobs all advocate smaller local government. They seem to be correct.

Big county government is largely a Dem institution and Rep. Jacobs represents folks that rejected former DeKalb CEO Vernon Jones as much as they rejected big County government.

Switching parties while in office is hardly worthy of bonus points, but that’s what happened.

benevolus December 16, 2009 at 10:59 am

I thought he said it was about fiscal responsibility. How’s that workin’ out?

Mad Dog December 18, 2009 at 12:34 pm


A Democrat got 33%? Sure it was that one sided for an ‘incumbent’ party switcher?

How hard it is to get 67% of the vote when running against the third Munchkin on the left?

My apologies to Michelle Conlon.

Silent Outrage December 15, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I’m glad that someone is finally standing up and being smart about these problems.

The only logical solution is a complete vote on all leadership positions.

Do the right thing House Members. Do the right thing.

Ken in Eastman December 16, 2009 at 1:14 am

Yes! Open up those positions!

IndyInjun December 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm

Question – Is everybody doing more than posting here? Is anybody besides me contacting Reps, emailing, and trying to mobilize the people?

Jeff December 15, 2009 at 10:00 pm

I’m playing more of an “interested observer” role, talking to a few people and providing input when asked, but otherwise basically just watching and commenting on what I see.

Life and Liberty December 16, 2009 at 11:59 am

ummm- last I heard that’s all any of us “regular folk” were doing.

Life and Liberty December 16, 2009 at 12:07 pm

didn’t correctly read Indy’s comment. Please disregard my last…
I’ve been @ the capitol since last Thursday. Our group had about 40 there that day.
I have visited every office of every rep from my county offering my support and encouragement to do the right thing.
there are currently several County GOP executive boards which I am aware of putting together resolutions to this effect, to be sent to their county delegation.
Many of the folks from last Thursday will be there tomorrow, hopefully joined by even more.
Wish I could be among them, but I have to go to court that morning.

AthensRepublican December 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Yes, the few I personally know.

1magnoliapeach December 15, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Well, I TRIED to contact my rep, (Cobb county!), even left my cell phone number and EMAIL. Not a single call back and that was on Saturday. I thought for sure I would hear by now. He gets one more day to respond, or he will not get my vote the next time around.

Ken in Eastman December 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Be sure and call again and let your representative know that and know why. It might help “constituent services” in the future.

Ken in Eastman December 16, 2009 at 1:21 am



When I called my state rep much earlier to tell him that “Richardson must go!” I only got as far as telling him I was concerned when he started to tell me that corruption and arrogance have no place in the state legislature regardless of party and that if we are going to do the right thing that political party could not be a consideration – just what is right.

I was a happy guy when I got off of the phone.

In addition he followed up with me later. :-)

Ken in Eastman December 16, 2009 at 1:24 am

Oh and the full Dodge County GOP got a full explanation of what was happening. No one attempted to defend any of the Georgia House leadership team and were relieved that Richardson had announced his resignation.

B Balz December 16, 2009 at 9:15 am


Holly December 16, 2009 at 10:00 am

What kind of response did you get? Just curious.

B Balz December 16, 2009 at 10:04 am

Non-committal, but immediate.

Holly December 16, 2009 at 11:29 am

Thanks. I was actually meaning to asking Indy because he and I have the same state legislator, but I’m glad yours was available to answer you, even if the answer was vague.

IndyInjun December 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm

At the moment we don’t have the same legislator.

I seriously doubt the former, common one would speak to me. He clearly and unequivocally knows where I stand.

My current rep has been in touch several times in recent days. I think he is going to do the right thing. I hope so…

Holly December 16, 2009 at 2:17 pm

Where did you move to?

B Balz December 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Actually Holly, I was sure you were MY neighbor in the 4th.

Holly December 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm

I live in district 118. :-)

Dave Bearse December 17, 2009 at 2:02 am

My reps been advised, and it’s been a subject of casual conversation.

Debra December 16, 2009 at 9:38 am

If the Republicans want to get back the confidence of their constituents, Keen can not continue in a leadership role Jerry Keen is and has always been a large part of the leadership problem. He is a smooth talker, plays a great guy on TV, but in reality he is an arrogant SOB, who is only interested in what he and his elite friends get out of it ! ! ! I’ve known Jerry Keen for years and he is a two faced, tell you anything I need to tell you, kinda of guy! JERRY KEEN NEEDS TO BE REMOVED!

AthensRepublican December 16, 2009 at 9:45 am

I agree and I think most people posting on PP agree. I have yet to see a positive post for Keen.

NorthGeorgiaGirl December 16, 2009 at 10:01 am

I guess he isn’t crying over all of the friends he has.

Goldwater Conservative December 16, 2009 at 5:06 pm

I think the only question anybody should be asking Jacobs is when he is going to change parties again.

It probably will happen when the Democrats take the majority again…which will not happen in most of our life times.

benevolus December 16, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Well he obviously has detected a change in the wind as far as Republican leadership goes. Where was he last year or the year before on ethics reform?
Mike seems to like to be on the winning team.

Elin is Hot December 16, 2009 at 11:24 pm

Sour grapes much? A Jewish legislator gets fed-up with being associated with the political party of Billy & Cynthia McKinney, and switches parties, and you chalk it all up to it being a matter of convenience to be in the majority?

benevolus December 18, 2009 at 1:58 pm

I don’t believe that. I don’t think Mike Jacobs thinks the Dem Party is anti-Jewish. And if you think he’d let Billy McKinney determine his political philosophy for him, you must think less of him that I do.

Rep. Mike Jacobs December 18, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Anti-Jewish? No. Weak on Israel? Yes.

benevolus December 18, 2009 at 10:16 pm

So rather than try to make Dems better for Israel, you chose to make Republicans better for African Americans?

AthensRepublican December 18, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Perhaps the GOP wanted him more than the Democratic Party?

He isn’t the only former Democrat in the House majority. Tommy Smith, Chuck Sims, Greg Morris, Butch Parrish, Larry O’Neal, Tom McCall, Bob Lane, Ann Purcell, Penny Houston, Roger Williams, Mickey Channell are all former Democrats. In fact, if all were still Democrats, the GOP would only have a razor thin 6 vote majority in the House. Why are you picking on Mike?

Ken in Eastman December 18, 2009 at 11:36 pm


I’m glad Representative Jacobs is a Republican. He is a fine addition to the GOP and has shown courage and leadership.

I know you guys wish you had him back; I don’t blame you for that. We; however, hope he stays with us. We need him.

benevolus, I don’t know if anyone could make the Dems better for Israel. Look at the current administration in Washington. Look at Jimmy Carter. Israel has been a strong US ally and we have thrown her to the wolves. This whole country should be ashamed of that.

Rep. Mike Jacobs December 17, 2009 at 12:05 am

Thank you.

To those who seem to want to chalk everything up to political expediency: Those for whom I have worked and with whom I have talked this week know that my neck is squarely on the chopping block. I’ve even told the candidates I am not supporting why I am supporting another candidate.

It’s politically perilous, not politically expedient. And I don’t care what consequences I might suffer, as long as we have what I believe to be the best shot at righting the ship.

Something to ponder as you carp from the comfort of your pseudonym.

Mike Jacobs
R (yes, R) – Atlanta

AthensRepublican December 17, 2009 at 12:12 am

Good luck Rep. Jacobs! I am disturbed by your comment that your “neck is squarely on the chopping block.”

It should not be that way. Is Richardson’s ghost still hanging around the Capitol?

benevolus December 18, 2009 at 11:25 am

What consequences? You’re already in the LOB aren’t you? What would happen, they would put you in the basement?

Beware of David Ralston! “I will not put with backbiting and bickering and this intra-family tensions very long.” He’s talking to you! A known turncoat!

Benjamin Franklin often wrote under a pseudonym. In fact, Benevolus is one of them. What’s the problem?

Ken in Eastman December 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm


Why in the world do you think David Ralston is talking to Mike Jacobs?

I believe David was attempting to make sure that people like Representative Jacobs were protected – not punished!

And yes, Ben Franklin used a pen name on occasion – but so did Samuel Clemens. Like you he was an author of fiction.

ByteMe December 18, 2009 at 2:31 pm

He also wrote non-fiction books.

Ken in Eastman December 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Yes he did – but that was not my point. :-)

benevolus has made this one up out of whole cloth. By the way, I’m not going to criticize folks too harshly for screen names. Here’s a closely guarded secret: My parents surname is not “in Eastman.” Please don’t tell anyone.

Life and Liberty December 18, 2009 at 12:11 pm

so, who did you vote for, and why?

benevolus December 18, 2009 at 12:40 pm

Perhaps he’s enjoying the anonymity of his vote.

Rep. Mike Jacobs December 18, 2009 at 2:34 pm

Search Facebook groups for the three candidates, and you’ll find the one I supported and why. I was on record very early in the Speaker’s race. Have a great weekend.

Ken in Eastman December 18, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Thanks Representative Jacobs – not just for replying on here, but also for having courage and doing the right thing.

AthensRepublican December 18, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Yes, Rep. Mike Jacobs -good guy and a good legislator!

benevolus December 18, 2009 at 3:34 pm

I guess my question for Rep. Jacobs is this:
Why is it when your new friends the Republicans are in need of some reform, you are willing to step up and lead and try to gain reform from within, but when you felt that Dems -who had supported you for years- were in need of some sort of reform, your choice was to bail out?

IndyInjun December 18, 2009 at 4:12 pm

Mike Jacobs wrote – Something to ponder as you carp from the comfort of your pseudonym.

First, thanks for making a principled stand.

Second, you assume that the ‘psuedonym’s” on here cast rocks from the shadows. On that you are dead wrong.

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